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Left Tackle prospects


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Ryan Clady- if he declares I really think top 12 pick.

Michael Oher- early indications say he is returning to Ole Miss- if he goes to the draft, my guess would be around pick 12-25

Sam Baker- not a mauler, but good overall LT - probably pick 18-35 or so. I think he has a chance to slip into the 2nd, just a guess though.

Jake Long- probably more of a RT, but thats an argument waiting to happen. He's probably a top 5 pick

Then there are guys like Otah, and the guy from Vanderbilt, but I don't know much about them.

These are just guesses from me. I'm sure there are some on this board that can add/make changes to my short list.

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Clady is a tier above the other LT prospects IMO.....Although I like the Williams kid from Vandy, and Oher if he declares, although it appears he won't....Baker isn't powerful or physical enough, Cherilus isn't athletic enough, Otah is borderline athletically, and somewhat raw.....Long is ideally a RT, although likely a future allpro at that position....and we have a solid RT in Clabo, who honestly doesn't need replacing...he's probably our best lineman right now. Hills I would be willing to take a shot in the 3rd....I'm not as high on him as others. Clady can become a probowl caliber LT...and if Oher stays out, he's the only one I see from this draft likely to become one.

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mr pickle (12/14/2007)
Clady is a tier above the other LT prospects IMO.....Although I like the Williams kid from Vandy, and Oher if he declares, although it appears he won't....Baker isn't powerful or physical enough, Cherilus isn't athletic enough, Otah is borderline athletically, and somewhat raw.....Long is ideally a RT, although likely a future allpro at that position....and we have a solid RT in Clabo, who honestly doesn't need replacing...he's probably our best lineman right now. Hills I would be willing to take a shot in the 3rd....I'm not as high on him as others. Clady can become a probowl caliber LT...and if Oher stays out, he's the only one I see from this draft likely to become one.

Baker is a slightly smaller version of Joe Thomas. Great technical blocker, and can easily take a defensive player out of the equation. You don't need to be a monster to play the OT position, especially if your techniques are superb.

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At LT the only guys worth considering in my opinion are Ryan Clady, Michael Oher, Jeff Otah, and Sam Baker.

Jake Long is the best OT prospect, but I believe he is somewhat overrated because the caliber of DEs he has been playing against the past couple of years is not that great... and we saw what happened when Vernon Gholston lined up against him; he pretty much got pressure at will if not a sack. Long will be a dominant RT in the NFL, though... I have no doubts about that. The funny thing is, though, Long is already a better tackle than anyone we have on our roster... period.

I just don't like the idea of taking him when we can pick up a dominant player who will stay at their position their whole career... a Darren McFadden, Glenn Dorsey, Sedrick Ellis, or James Laurinaitis is an incredibly better value for where we'll be picking in my opinion.

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I just don't like the idea of taking him when we can pick up a dominant player who will stay at their position their whole career... a Darren McFadden, Glenn Dorsey, Sedrick Ellis, or James Laurinaitis is an incredibly better value for where we'll be picking in my opinion.

I agree 100%...I am a Sedrick Ellis guy. He would provide the interior push that our defense lacks. Babs is OK, but not as quick as Ellis. Coleman was the man, but his multiple injuries are taking their toll.........he is not a long term answer.

I don't doubt the J Anderson pick. He will pay off handsomely. He is very young and inexperienced, but he will be a very good player for years to come.

I believe that our greatest need on the OL is at RG. If Duke Robinson or Jeremy Perry are available, either one has to be the 2a pick.

I also believe that Tony Hills and Sam Baker would make excellent second round picks. Both should be available, if Oher declares. Guys like Williams, Otah and Clady are making strides among draftniks and could easily move ahead of Baker by draft day. Hills and Baker are excellent pass protectors that will drop in the draft due to injury histories.

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2 guys that are not being mentioned, but that are right in the mix with most of these other guys are Phil Loadholt and Alex Boone. Both of these guys are juniors, so no telling right now if they will declare or not, and neither have indicated which way they are leaning.

I wouldn't rank them at the very top (with Clady), but they are in the next tier mix, probably even with Oher, Otah, & Williams and maybe slightly ahead of Baker (who some are now suggesting might end up at OG).

For LT prospects I'd rank them like this:

Ryan Clady

Phil Loadholt

Jeff Otah

Alex Boone

Micheal Oher

Chris Williams

But I think that from Loadholt to Williams it's pretty much interchangable. I think all these guys go from pick 20 in round 1 to pick 20 in round 2. I don't think any is anywhere ahead of the others that much, it's just going to be which club falls in love with which guy. I think with Loadholt you've got the most potential, that's why I ranked him #2, but I think he'll take a year to really finish developing, so whoever drafts him will have to be patient. Boone you could be worried a little about his injury, so that could drop him some.

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Steve_Bartkowski (12/14/2007)
Jake Long is the best OT in the draft and is a top 5 player by most rankings. He is the most dominant run blocker in this draft and perhaps others as well and is very solid in pass protection.

I would also be very happy to land Clady or Cherlius.

No one is denying Long's talent. This is about LT prospects, which he will most likely not be.

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Top Left Tackle Prospects:

1. Chris Williams [The kid just doesn't EVER allow sacks.]

2. Michael Oher [Higher ceiling than any other tackle in the entire draft, but a pretty low floor, too]

3. Jeff Otah [Very consistent.]

4. Ryan Clady [in my opinion, he's over rated.]

5. Sam Baker [i think he's a softie. He's one of those technically sound guys who doesn't dominate.]

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"Who is suggesting that Baker will end up at OG? He's the most technically adept LT prospect in the draft, why would you move him inside?"

Seriously. That would effectively emasculate him. Moving him inside doesn't even make sense. He's not a power drive blocker, and he would struggle against the most powerful bull rushers.

Is there a link to someone saying this? I'm curious whether they are a football neophyte or not.

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Steve_Bartkowski (12/14/2007)
Jake Long is the best OT in the draft and is a top 5 player by most rankings. He is the most dominant run blocker in this draft and perhaps others as well and is very solid in pass protection.

I would also be very happy to land Clady or Cherlius.

You know they call the right side the strong side for a reason, right? Whoever has Jake Long at RT will be able to run to the right pretty much whenever they want if they have a RG and C worth any kind of paycheck in the NFL.

Speed rushers typically come off the left side though and Long has not shown to be a true top 5 talent in that regard. He can slow them down more often than not, but he is just not the dominating LT people make him out to be.

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Welcome to Atlanta (12/14/2007)
Top Left Tackle Prospects:

1. Chris Williams [The kid just doesn't EVER allow sacks.]

2. Michael Oher [Higher ceiling than any other tackle in the entire draft, but a pretty low floor, too]

3. Jeff Otah [Very consistent.]

4. Ryan Clady [in my opinion, he's over rated.]

5. Sam Baker [i think he's a softie. He's one of those technically sound guys who doesn't dominate.]

Being technically sound is often times better than overpowering. The guys who have the technical aspect of blocking down are rarely flagged in this league, and will effectively take a player out. Pile-pushers are flagged more often because they can only use brute strength when an edge rushers gets around them. If people want a Joe Thomas type OT, then look no farther than Clady or Baker.

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jidady (12/14/2007)
"Who is suggesting that Baker will end up at OG? He's the most technically adept LT prospect in the draft, why would you move him inside?"

Seriously. That would effectively emasculate him. Moving him inside doesn't even make sense. He's not a power drive blocker, and he would struggle against the most powerful bull rushers.

Is there a link to someone saying this? I'm curious whether they are a football neophyte or not.

I'll have to go back & try to find other links when I have some time this evening. But gist of it was based primarily on his size (see the end of the writeup in the link below). There were a couple more, but I didn't see it in a quick look that I just did.

JMO, it's probably going to be determined by the team that picks him. If it's a ZBS team, then definitely he'll play LT, but if it's a power blocking team, then I'd say it's 50/50. He may get a shot like Leonard Davis did to play LT, but then eventually move inside to OG.

link

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I think Sam baker may be one of the most underappreciated and probably falling OT prospects. Having Anthony Munoz say that you are a great NFL prospect http://www.nfldraftdog.com/2008_nfl_draft/Sam-Baker-USC.htm are words that can't be taken lightly.

We all know that he is great technically. Some are going to slam him based upon his size (everyone is infatuated with 6'7 guys) and "softness" but great technique and playing LT in a pro-style offense counts for a lot in my opinion. Plus he plays with leverage and tenacity and has good hands.

If he slipped to the second or late first I'd jump all over Baker, as I think he may be the best NFL OT of the bunch. Even better than Long perhaps.

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lol most of you people haven't even watched these guys play much, if at all. Jake Long is being called a RT because of how well Vernon Gholston played against him. You don't even know how someone like Ryan Clady would do against Gholston. Clady looks good vs San Jose State and Idaho.

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"JMO, it's probably going to be determined by the team that picks him. If it's a ZBS team, then definitely he'll play LT, but if it's a power blocking team, then I'd say it's 50/50. He may get a shot like Leonard Davis did to play LT, but then eventually move inside to OG."

Yeah, I figured it was one of the amateur ones. They frequently do great work with regards to fact checking, but actual player evaluation is oftentimes lacking.

With regards to your comments, Leonard Davis has nothing in common with Baker's situation since he's 40 pounds heavier. It makes sense to move a mauler like that inside. Baker, on the other hand, is all about agility and technical proficiency. If he moved inside, it would eliminate most of his positives. There are very few true LT prospects that come along over a ten year period, but he is unquestionably one of them. It neuters him to take away his ability to seal the edge by putting him inside against DTs. In fact, when he gets to the next level, I expect teams to do what the Titans do with Haynesworth and move bull rushing DTs outside against him on 3rd down since speed guys just don't have a chance against him.

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"If he slipped to the second or late first I'd jump all over Baker, as I think he may be the best NFL OT of the bunch."

Yep, I've been saying for a while now that I would love nothing better than for Sam Baker to have a very quiet off-season so that his stock never improves leading up to the draft. He's being criminally underrated.

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jidady (12/14/2007)
"If he slipped to the second or late first I'd jump all over Baker, as I think he may be the best NFL OT of the bunch."

Yep, I've been saying for a while now that I would love nothing better than for Sam Baker to have a very quiet off-season so that his stock never improves leading up to the draft. He's being criminally underrated.

Me too. Watching him at USC the last 4 years, I still don't understand why--well i do, its the love affair with man-beasts.

But the odd part about Baker is that he slips for measurables, but he's 6'5 310 or 315. that's far from a smallish OT.

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